Freddy Sanchez for… Who?! Seriously?

One of the most enjoyable parts of writing for a site like Fangraphs is “hearing” the banter between writers behind the scenes. After news broke of the Pittsburgh-San Francisco deal that saw second baseman Freddy Sanchez head from the Pirates to the Giants, these comments were made from some of Fangraphs’ finest:

“What the hell?”

“The best pitching prospect of the day doesn’t get traded for Cliff Lee, but for Freddy Sanchez. Awesome. Nice job, Cleveland.”

“My lord, Sabean, what are you doing?”

Just when you thought it was safe to love San Francisco prospects again, general manager Brian Sabean tossed away the club’s second best pitching prospect for an injury-prone, veteran second baseman in his free agent year (although he has an $8 million option that is way too high). Oh, and the Giants organization just gave away its third best pitching prospect (Scott Barnes) to the Indians for a league-average first baseman. Madison Bumgarner is suddenly very, very lonely.

Alderson is just 20 years old and he’s holding his own in double-A. The 6’6′ right-hander also has above-average command and control for his age. He can throw in the low-90s and has a plus curveball and a developing changeup. In 13 double-A starts, Alderson allowed 76 hits in 72.2 innings of work, while posting a walk rate of just 1.73 BB/9 and a strikeout rate of 5.70 K/9 (which will no doubt rise as he gains experience). The 22nd pick of the 2007 draft had hit a rough patch lately with three straight “meh” starts, but, again, he’s 20 years old and pitching in double-A with exceptional command and control for his age.

Sanchez is currently hitting .296/.334/.442 with six homers and five stolen bases in 355 at-bats. The 31-year-old could slot into the No. 2 hole in the lineup for San Francisco. Defensively, he plays a solid but unspectacular second base, which will help fill a season-long hole for the Giants. Sanchez definitely has an edge on defense, but is his offense really that much better than current second baseman Juan Uribe‘s triple-slash line of .284/.314/.431? Is the slight offensive edge plus Sanchez’ glove really worth Alderson?

Sanchez is a nice complementary player, but he definitely should not have cost an A-level pitching prospect. In five years, this (panic?) trade is going to hurt.

P.S. The Pirates just got more value for Sanchez than Ricciardi could drum up for Halladay. That has to burn.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

187 Responses to “Freddy Sanchez for… Who?! Seriously?”

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  1. Gary says:

    I’m thinking the Giants take Sanchez’s offer of a 3 year 20 million extension, but either way, they gave up way too much.

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  2. Antonio says:

    I’ll take a Dirty Sanchez before I take Freddy. Seriously.

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  3. Ryan S says:

    Hahaha, nice day for Huntington. An actual blue chip pitching prospect to go with the 100 million other mid grade ones we have.

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  4. Justin says:

    “Sanchez is currently hitting .296/.334/.442 with six homers and five RBI in 355 at-bats.”

    Must be the only man in Major League history to accomplish that.

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    • Paul Thomas says:

      I think this is actually technically possible if you were to hit a home run and then, for instance, run the bases in the wrong order.

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      • Dave says:

        Not exactly the same, but:

        Bengi Molina hit a homerun, but it was initially ruled as in play, so he had to stop at first. He was then pinch run for by Emmanuel Burriss. The umps conferred and he was awarded the home run. Burriss scored. So I think Bengi got the HR and the RBI but not the run scored.

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      • LeiterMilnerFasterStronger says:

        I don’t think you’re actually credited with a home run for that, then.

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  5. jfish26101 says:

    Oh just wait, Pirate fans wont be happy with this either.

    I continue to think NH is doing a very good job setting that organization up to be successful long term. I know they are completely alienating their fanbase but most of them have no idea what is going on anyhow. If they can manage to sign some of their more talented draft picks, I wonder where BA ranks this system? I know the graduated a few but they have added a lot more.

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  6. tom says:

    Alderson was way overrated. I’m guessing nobody here has actually seen him pitch. I’ve seen him in both SJ and Connecticut. HE DOES NOT THROW IN THE LOW 90′S. His FB tops out at 89(rarely touching 90) but mostly sits around 86-88 and most of the scouts I talked to are not high on him at all. He doesn’t miss very many bats and relies on 100% on control. His curve ball is his best pitch but that’s all he has going for him.

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    • jfish26101 says:

      I’d almost rather have the pitcher with better secondary pitches, great command, and the size/frame to perhaps add velocity than someone with just a really good FB. I’m not saying Alderson is going to be an ace or even has 1-2 type potential now but he is a good arm and not having to pay any of Sanchez contract is a win on its own.

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      • tom says:

        The scouts I talked to say his mechanics have been going to the crap hole and his fastball is losing both velocity and movement. His change up is below average. His curveball is the only average-to-above average pitch. Like I said, the scouts I talked to are not very high on him at all anymore.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Well that is sort of the thing about scouts, there are so many and they all have different preferences, skill levels, and ways of projecting players. I’m not saying they are wrong but for all I know the scouts you talked to are just bird dogs. Even if their assessment is true, the mechanical problems can be fixed which could easily change his direction. He has great command, he has a great breaking ball, and he has great size so I think he is a great haul coupled with the money they are saving.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        His mechanical issues were noted the day he was drafted. My understanding is that the Giants haven’t changed them because his stuff is considered insufficient to get results without the deception inherent in his unorthodox delivery.

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    • Ryan says:

      So he’s getting 5.7 k/9 by not missing very many bats and relying on 100% control? Pretty impressive.

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      • tom says:

        He plays in an extreme pitchers park where the wind blows TOWARDS home plate so it’s easy to simply throw pitches down the middle of the plate and not be hit hard for it.

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      • Ryan says:

        What does playing in a pitchers park have to do with 5.7 k/9 and missing bats?

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      • tom says:

        that was a mistake reply. I meant to add on to my post above. Regardless, there is nothing impressive about a 5.7 K/9 coming from a RHP who’s GB/FB ratio is 1-1. Judging from the hype he had last year, I was very underwhelmed the multiple times I watched him pitch and I was surprised when the scouts didn’t like him much either.

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      • phildo says:

        for being a 20 year old in aa his k rate is fine.

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      • wobatus says:

        I think he may be ragged or slightly hurt. He struck out more than a atter an inning in May in AA after first called up. He only struck out 4.5 per 9 in June about, and only 9 in 23 innings in July.

        Regardless, he is 20 in AA. His career minor league k rate is 7.3. About the same as Jair Jurrjens.

        I do think he has slipped slightly. However, BA ranks him among the top 50 mid-season prospects. It isn’t as though BA doesn’t talk to scouts.

        And people also seem to underrate the value of a decent number 3.

        I’d say given his command he deserves a little time.

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    • rizzo says:

      Regarding Tom’s comments about the wind at Connecticut’s park – I’ve never been to the park so I can’t comment on that, but the suggestion that Alderson benefitted from pitching there is simply false. Check out his home/road splits, it reallly isn’t all that close (sample size of course must be considered)

      Location ERA WHIP H/9 HR/9
      Home 4.06 1.45 11.3 .58
      Road 3.02 1.08 8.0 .65

      Alderson may or may not be a stud, but I’d sure be leery of trading him for a 31 year old 2B who may or may not get me to the post-season

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      • Bhaakon says:

        That home/road splits hardly mean that the park isn’t helping him, it just mean’s that he’s pitched poorly at home. If it wasn’t for the park, his home splits would be even less impressive.

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      • rizzo says:

        bhaakon – then how are you going to explain away his road splits?

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      • Bhaakon says:

        There’s no need to “explain away” anything. He happened to pitch more proficiently and/or benefit from more luck on the road than at home so far. We’re dealing with small sample sizes here, this kind of thing is to be expected.

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  7. Dan says:

    Holy crap. Alderson?! Bumgarner and Alderson should have been untouchable, save for the most ridiculous of offers.

    And no, Sabean, not ridiculous this way. Ridiculous in your favor.

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  8. cpebbles says:

    Agreed on Alderson being overrated. Huntington has consistently gone after former blue-chip prospects whose stars are dimming or have gone out. Either his scouts have gotten very, very lazy or he trusts his dogeared 2007 Baseball America guide more than he trusts his employees.

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    • Shush says:

      Uh, Lorin? Pribanic? Adcock? Huntington just got all three today for players who were done on his team, and none appears to be fizzling, necessarily.

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  9. Paul Thomas says:

    No offense, but unless the scouts have really missed something, Alderson is not that great a pitching prospect. He doesn’t have swing-and-miss stuff, and calling his fastball low-90s is optimistic at best. I’d grade him as a B, which puts his surplus value at likely less than Sanchez’s (setting aside the advantages to SF of buying in a contending season).

    Pitchers with his profile fail all the time. The most obvious recent example is Ian Kennedy, but I’m sure you could find more if you hunted for them.

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    • jfish26101 says:

      Pitchers of every profile fail all of the time.

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      • PaulThomas says:

        That wasn’t very well worded. Rereading it, it sounds like I’m saying control pitchers are uniquely unlikely to succeed, which isn’t the point I was trying to make at all. I’m just saying that he isn’t a sure thing.

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    • B says:

      “I’d grade him as a B”

      Thanks for your opinion, more credible people disagree, which is why he was ranked in the BA Top 100, for instance.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        To be fair, opinions do vary greatly with Alderson. Even so, a B isn’t bad at all.

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      • B says:

        That could be true, but I’ll point out that BA’s midseason top 25 listed Alderson as an honorable mention. Maybe other’s are down on him, but as a Giants fan, I’ve been under the impression Alderson was borderline untouchable. Basically, we should have only traded him to a team that valued him as highly as us and gave us a fair return for him under those conditions.

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    • wobatus says:

      Ian Kennedy is still 24, and before he got hurt was pitching fine in AAA this year. Too soon for him to be the poster boy for failure. he jjust wasn’t as good as he ws hyped to be after his age 22 season. Which for Alderson is still 2 years away.

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  10. Viliphied says:

    $8M? Overpaid? Sanchez $ value last 4 years – 1.8M, 15.6M, 17.7M, 10.9M, and he’s already been worth over 9M this year. I don’t see how 8M is overpaid for him

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    • Greg says:

      These values are wrong. No one will ever pay Freddy Sanchez 17 million dollars to play baseball.

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    • B says:

      He is 31, so he’s more likely to be worse next year that this year, and he DID just come off a $1.8M year. My guess is $8M will probably be pretty fair, the problem is he has to give us enough value on top of that to be worth Alderson…which is very unlikely.

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  11. Uribe says:

    I just want you to know, that the type of Giants fans who would read this site overwhelmingly agree with you and are pissed.

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    • Ace says:

      What Uribe says. The overwhelming reaction is that Sabean is a fucking idiot, who’s trying to save his job. The idea that he is aware of anything beyond “.300 hitter” and “ALL STAR” is pie-in-the-sky optimism.

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  12. Hoagie says:

    So who does Sabean trade Bumgarner to now? Washington for Willie Harris?

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  13. MC says:

    I think the 8 mil seems high given what O dog and some of the other 2nd basemen who were around last year and couldn’t find a job are getting paid this year. 8 mil seems high for a nice 2nd baseman.

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  14. B says:

    Just horrible. I don’t even want to do the analysis I did on the Garko trade, I’m scared at how bad and depressing the results will be.

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  15. Dustin says:

    I think the perception of Alderson is much higher outside the game than it is between front offices. At least, I am hoping it is because if not Sabean should have gotten more. As a Giants fan I am mildly optimistic about the trade because of several reasons:
    1. Second base has been a sinkhole both offensively and defensively with Burriss, Downs, Uribe, Fransden, and Velez. 2B has been around a win below replacement for the Giants this season. Assuming these players keep playing like they have been this season Sanchez should add 2 wins to the Giants total this year. I haven’t looked at the numbers as far as odds of playoffs yet but 2 wins seems to be at least a 10-15% chance increase.

    2. Alderson has not been pitching at the 90-94 MPH range everyone is referencing and obviously not showing the potential for more than 90-94. He is a 21 year old, 6’6” pitcher in AA doing decently but he has a 1.31 WHIP with a 5.7 K/9 rate. Best case scenario in my mind is something like a poor-man’s Joel Piniero and as with every prospect there is a low chance of him hitting that ceiling.

    3. I doubt that us fans are the only people noticing Alderson’s dropping velocity and low K rate. I don’t think the Indians were ready to offer Martinez or Lee for him is what I am trying to get at.

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    • B says:

      He’s 20, and he’s considered a Top 50ish prospect in baseball. According to some research from here:

      http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/3/3/777412/al-west-farm-system-values

      He should be worth between $12.1M and $15.9M. That means to give us fair value on the trade Sanchez has to outproduce his contract by that much (for the Giants). If you can show me reasons to believe he will, I’d be interested. Otherwise, this is a huge mistake, even if others don’t view Alderson that highly. Just because others don’t value him as much as we do doesn’t mean we should sell low on him. He wasn’t throwing 90-94 last year, either…he’s still young though and I’m under the impression he projects to gain some velocity, though his fastball was never projected to be a plus pitch, anyways.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Blah, beat me. :p

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      • Dustin says:

        I understand the value for top 50ish prospects but I don’t think he is ranked properly based on what we have seen this year. I think Sanchez has a chance to give us significant value (more if we make the playoffs this year) especially because our other 2Bs are giving us negative value.

        I love homegrown prospects as much as the next guy, but Alderson is one I was hoping we could use a trading chip. I wish we got more, but more likely the other GMs saw the signs as well and weren’t jumping at the chance.

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      • B says:

        “I wish we got more, but more likely the other GMs saw the signs as well and weren’t jumping at the chance.”

        Ah, the old “sell low” strategy. Classic Brian Sabean. It’s a good thing he unloaded Joe Nathan when he did.

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      • Bigmouth says:

        He’s ranked 45th by Baseball America, which is the ranking Wang’s research into trade value is based upon. So the $15.9 million number is correct.

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      • cpebbles says:

        He WAS ranked 45th, before he went out and had what is at best a mediocre year. And sorry, holding your own in AA at 20 means a fair bit if you’re a hitter. If you’re a pitcher, not so much. If you’re a pitcher whose only real strength is control, definitely not so much.

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      • B says:

        Just to clarify things, cpebbles, on July 9th, BA had Alderson as an honorable mention for the midseason Top 25. They still regard him as a Top 50 guy.

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      • Bigmouth says:

        Cpebbles, he did struggle a bit at AA, but he was given “honorable mention” by Baseball America’s midseason report. Bottom line, he was a premium prospect who should have commanded more in return.

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      • Bigmouth says:

        I should add that Alderson’s “honorable mention” was after he dominated the California League, which is very hitter friendly (though San Jose is a pitcher’s park).

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      • Dustin says:

        I’m just saying the list for value is based on the average prospect ranked between 26-50. What I have seen from Alderson is that, while he may surprise and break out and become a #2 starter some day, right now he does not deserve that top 50 prospect ranking. So he is not as good as the average 26-50 ranked prospect and so is not worth $15.9 million

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      • B says:

        No offense, Dustin, but you have to realize why we don’t take that seriously. I don’t know you, for all I know you don’t know the first thing about scouting. So we’re using rankings from people who actually do prospect evaluating for a living (kind of, obviously the writers at BA are selling their writing, but it’s the best we have, and writing about prospects is their job). If you have any evidence of people with credibility that agree with you, by all means, share it. Until then, I think it’s safe for us to go with the credible sources I’ve cited.

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      • Dustin says:

        Oh, I understand what you are saying and I don’t blame you for taking BA over me. I’m not going off of someone else’s projections, I’m just looking at the numbers and the scouting reports and coming to my own conclusion. Alderson might add velocity, he might develop a changeup, and he might make his motion more deceptive but counting on someone to do that is harder than counting on a young pitcher to improve his control. Since so much of his value comes from preventing walks and homers there is not much room for improvement since he is already doing those things extremely well. He could easily make a change and become a good MLB pitcher but assuming he will is risky and that’s why I think this is a positive value trade for the Giants.

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      • R M says:

        B, how many of Baseball America’s top 50 prospects ever go on to have successful careers? That’s what I thought. Go though a baseball america top 100 list from 5 or 6 years ago and see how many names are in the majors right now. A top 50 ranking means NOTHING in terms of future success….it is all hype. Just for kicks, I went down Baseball America’s 2002 top 100 list and out of the top 50, 25 went on to be successful major leaguers, and the other 25 were complete flops. Using those lists to judge talent is like using wins to judge how good a starting pitcher is.

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      • Rowen says:

        The research you’re quoting is an outgrowth of Wang’s Jan 2008 THT article (see link below), which contains the following very important point:

        “Prospect risk premium: Although the prospect values that I have presented above represent the expected value of prospect performance, they likely overestimate the trade value of prospects. Due to the risk involved with prospects, there is probably a risk premium when it comes to trading prospects.”

        http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-bright-side-of-losing-santana/

        If you thought Alderson had an expected value of $15M, then his fair value in a trade would be less than that, due to risk aversion.

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      • B says:

        R M the whole point of the exercise is to take that into account. Rowen, thank you for pointing that out. Has anything done to quantify how much of an effect that has?

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      • Dustin says:

        also B, Keith Law is a legitimate source who has come out as down on Alderson. In a chat today, he said several things on Alderson:
        I don’t think he’s injured, but he’s not a real physical kid (yet, plenty of room to fill out) and his delivery has effort. He’s gone backwards, that’s absolutely a concern. One scout I talked to who saw him in July said he wrote him up as a 5th starter.

        I’m guessing his player development people were telling him Alderson’s fastball and curve had both gone backwards this year. If I didn’t have history with Alderson in HS, I would probably have talked about this as too little for Pittsburgh, based solely on what Alderson is now. I’ve seen him much better than this, and I do like the feel for pitching, so I’m still giving him extra credit.

        He’d be back end of a top 100 at best. I stuffed him at 26 on my preseason ranking because of age, performance, and the grade 55 or 60 curveball, but that pitch isn’t there for him right now.

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      • Rowen says:

        B – You asked whether any research has been done to quantify the risk premium. I don’t know. However, if I try to apply lessons from my day job to this context: One way you would implicitly measure the risk premium would be to look at real-life transactions. In other words, the fact that Sanchez-for-Alderson was viewed by the parties as a fair transaction would be evidence to support the contention that the appropriate risk premium is whatever you think the difference is between Alderson’s expected value and Sanchez’s expected value (assuming for the moment that we’re viewing Sanchez’s future performance as being a sure thing, which isn’t quite right, but hopefully you get my drift).

        I recognize that there’s a tautology here — namely, any trade that’s actually made is, by that standard, definitionally a fair trade.

        Still, “economics of trade valuation” as a branch of sabermetrics is in its infancy, and I think we need to tread carefully before asserting that our models demonstrate that a real-life trade was lopsided.

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      • B says:

        Dustin, he actually answered my question about what kind of prospect Alderson was when we traded him. He said end of the Top 100 at best, so maybe it’s fair to knock down the value I credited him with a bit.

        Some fair points, Rowen, though I’d hesitate to use anything Sabean does as a basis to set risk premiums. I’m not a fan and I would not be surprised if he simply got fleeced. I will point out, one thing I didn’t consider before…Giants-Pirates dealings have always seemed to work out in our favor, so maybe I should hold out hope Sanchez goes all Bonds/Jason Schmidt on us.

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    • jfish26101 says:

      - He is 20.
      - He has a 4.5% BB rate (great command).
      - He has a frame that can add velocity and a great breaking pitch.
      - His BABIP isn’t high, his LOB% isn’t high, his LD% isn’t high, his FIP isn’t high, his tRA isn’t high.

      Sure the stats listed at the bottom aren’t exactly trust worthy for minor league numbers but I really don’t see anything other than lots of hits to knock him on.

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      • Dustin says:

        I’m not really knocking him, I’m just saying his stat line isn’t currently projecting as a good major league starter. Alderson will never be a Cain.

        Also, “having a frame to add velocity” almost never equals added velocity. Maybe mechanics, maybe mental, maybe something else but Alderson will not add velocity just because he is big.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        If he can add lean muscle, he could. If he doesn’t, he still could through mechanic changes. I’m not saying he will but he had more velocity than he has now so I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities to think he could at least get back to what he was if not add more and/or more movement which is also possible.

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      • tom says:

        He’s actually lost Velocity over the last year or so. He rarely breaks 88 and is right around 86-87

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      • jfish26101 says:

        And he can’t POSSIBLY go the other direction? He may as well retire now I guess. Haha

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      • JH says:

        Banking on a 20-year-old to add velocity is poor prospecting. Just as many if not more players that age have thrown their arm out and will never reach their age-20 velocity again as see significant spikes.

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      • jfish26101 says:

        Acting as if a 20 year can’t improve any facet of his game is good prospecting? I’m not even saying he is going to but the possibility is there, it isn’t such a minute possibility that it should be considered, and the fact that 1/3 of the posters in here are acting as if Alderson should retire tomorrow because he will never be better than he is right now is ridiculous.

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      • Dustin says:

        I think he will be better than he is right now because of increased confidence and experience as he grows older but the thing is he would have to improve a lot more than someone like Bumgarner to become a legitimate MLB starter.

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    • Bigmouth says:

      Correction — Alderson did NOT dominate the California League. In fact, his tRA was 4.71, which is awful for an elite pitching prospect. I must have confused him with Bumgarner, who tore it up at San Jose before struggling almost as badly at Norwalk. Sorry for the misinformation.

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  16. Big Oil says:

    I’m waiting for obsessivegiantscompulsive to weigh in.

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  17. B. Sabean says:

    Why do I make strange decisions?

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  18. richiel1 says:

    Jeez sometimes people treat prospect rankings as gospel – I’d rather trust actual scouting reports and stats, as in the two things that pretty much would lead you to believe he is nowhere close to a top 50 overall prospect.

    There are a million RHP with ‘good command/control’ in the minors who succeed up to a point with for the most part below average stuff. This guy isn’t touching the low-90′s as the article suggests, how about someone does some research before writing this stuff… His 5.7/9 K rate ‘should improve as he gains experience’? Since when do we project guys with fringy stuff and a low k-rate to improve with experience? I know he’s fairly young but experience won’t make his fastball any faster.

    And yes he theoretically ‘could’ add velocity, but then again so could anyone, and there has never been real hard evidence that says which kind of pitchers add velocity and at what age. To assume he will is biased and simply lazy.

    Could Sabean have gotten more? Who knows, certainly not the posters here. As some have suggested other team’s scouts could have very well picked up on his below average fringy fastball and said to stay away – he’s a 3/4 at best (which is certainly not a top 50 prospect).

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    • B says:

      “Jeez sometimes people treat prospect rankings as gospel – I’d rather trust actual scouting reports and stats”

      I’d rather listen to the people that are doing these exact things – reading scouting reports, talking to scouts, and looking at stats, especially since I’m no expert on the subject. These are the people that do the prospect rankings, and we use the ones that are freely available, because it’s the best information we have on the subject. Regardless of what you think of Alderson, the research I used above show his trade value is upwards of $12M, since he’s a top 50 ranked prospect (from people more knowledgeable than us). That’s a valuable trade piece.

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  19. Brian Cartwright says:

    batting line against
    265/302/373 297 wOBA in AA (09)
    245/286/337 276 wOBA in High-A (08-09)
    combined 08-09 13 HR, 51 BB 189 SO in 1000 batters faced
    HR rate is about half of average, excellent BB%, average on SO%

    many guys are doing worse

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  20. Nick says:

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a terrible trade for the Giants, but let’s not make Alderson out to be something he’s not. I’ve seen him pitch and personally I think he’s a reliever in the long run.

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    • R M says:

      Not saying I agree with you about him becoming an RP, but if you think that’s the case why is it such a terrible deal?

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  21. Robm16 says:

    Freddy Sanchez is a Major League player. How many pitching *prospects* don’t make it in the big leagues? Always trade a known big league player for an unknown prospect that has potential. Why? Because the player that has potential may never pan out. This was a good deal for the Giants and a move they needed to make period!

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    • B says:

      That’s just not properly valuing players, which I’m surprised to read at a site like this. Pretty much everyone that regularly reads Fangraphs understands production vs. salary, and that prospects that do make it will always give you the best value – just look at Dave’s recent list of players with the most trade value. The probability of a prospect making it might not be great, but the reward you get when one does is exceptional, and why prospects are valuable.

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      • joe says:

        This analysis does not take into account the fact that trading a proven all star/batting champ for a prospect that ultimately does not work out, or, in this case, is only a 3/4 or reliever, is a massive loss.

        And the number of hits Alderson gives up is suspicious. If he’s 86-89 on the fastball and relies on a good curveball, he sounds like a Zito in the making. The number of hits he gives up suggest he’s hittable, good control or not.

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      • B says:

        “This analysis does not take into account the fact that trading a proven all star/batting champ for a prospect that ultimately does not work out, or, in this case, is only a 3/4 or reliever, is a massive loss.”

        Actually, joey, you should go read about it – it does. The link I provided further up in the comments section takes you to places that explains it – basically it they’ve analyzed the prospects chances of making it and the value they provide the team when they do and from there figured out what the average value for each prospect in their different sections is. Assuming Alderson is a Top 25-50 prospect, as BA recently named him (if someone has any credible sources disagreeing they’re free to throw up links), his expected value, which takes hits and misses into account, is somewhere between $12.1M and $15.9M. That’s a valuable trade piece. To put that into perspective – Freddie Sanchez is going to be paid about $10M by the Giants. So he has to give us around $22-25M of value (around 5 wins) over the rest of this year and next for this to be a fair trade. Also take note that the chance of him under performing relative to this value is much higher than the chance of him over performing.

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      • PaulThomas says:

        Relative to the rest of the sucking black hole of suckiness that is the rest of the Giants infield, 5 wins over the next 2 seasons sounds extremely doable. He pretty much has to just be league-average and not get hurt.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        The money ranking there are useful, but they don’t tell the entire story. Though Sanchez’s value on the whole may be lower than Alderson’s in a vacuum, the timing of his addition, with the team competing for a playoff spot, could make his contextual value much higher. To make a crude analogy, it’s perfectly reasonable to sell my $20,000 car for $10,000 if I need the cash to pay off my bookie tonight.

        In other words, we need to use some sort of leverage index to judge the relative values added here (and I’m completely aware that there’s really no way to even guess at a context for Alderson at this point). I’d guess that the 88-91 win playoff threshold is the point at which the leverage value of each added win is the highest.

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      • B says:

        It’s a fair point, Bhaakon. I see this as a terrible time to start selling the farm going after the playoffs, though. Obviously Sabean is doing it to try to get a new contract. I’d much rather see us making moves like this when we’re actually in the divisional race, with a chance at the wild card as a consolidation prize. Instead, we’re doing it when we have around 5 or so other teams to beat out for the wild card, with that being the only realistic probability of us getting in the playoffs. So essentially I don’t think this leverage index would be very high right now…

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    • Nick says:

      You’re right, the Giants should’ve traded Tim Lincecum three years ago when they had the chance, because he was just an unproven, right?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Jack's Son says:

    The last two moves weren’t great but guess what? It gets them to the playoffs in my opinion. For some teams, that’s worth it. They’ll probably make one more move for an OF bat.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • B says:

      We have to beat out like 5 other teams for the playoffs (for the wild card). Even if we were the favorites, our probability of making the playoffs would be less than 50%…and we probably aren’t the favorites.

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  23. alskor says:

    Alderson just isnt that good. He’s been very overrated all along. His stuff isnt great. Id take Knapp over him in a second.

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  24. LOL giants fans says:

    I love how at the start of the years OMG alderson’s gonna be sooo good for us hes def. top 25, now after you get RAPED, its hes sooo overrated, his stats are average, he’ll never be more than a fifth starter/ bullpen arm, LMAO sounds like homerism to me, also who the hell on fangraphs knows pro scouts, HAHAHA, nice try giants fan at trying to rationalise a TERRIBLE trade. and I’m a red sox fan, not a pitt. homer

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    • tom says:

      I’ve never been on the Alderson bandwagon. Most people here haven’t even seen the guy pitch. I think the trade was crappy because I think they could have gotten more but I definitely wasn’t against trading Alderson. His stock is only going to continue to plummet imo and trading him now would be the time to do it, but I would have tried to get a better player than Freddy Sanchez.

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    • B says:

      As a Giants fan it’s sounded to me like the people calling him overrated were not Giants fans, rather we were the ones throwing out the reasons why the trade was awful. Giants fans hate this trade, just know that.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        I hate this trade because I think we should have gotten more for Alderson. But I also think that Alderson’s overrated for all the reasons mentioned in the above comments and that it’s likely his trade value will never be higher. I don’t think these positions are necessarily at odds.

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      • B says:

        I have a similar opnion. I don’t really have an opinion on Alderson’s status as a prospect, and I don’t mind the concept of trading him…it’s just, we traded Barnes and Alderson and now we have Freddy Sanchez and Garko. Really? Those two probably could have been the starting point in a package for a real talent. Instead we got a marginal upgrade at 1B (which in a vacuum I was somewhat ok with, but now I no longer am), and a very average player on the wrong side of 30 at 2B. Just terrible. More proof Sabean doesn’t know what he’s doing.

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  25. rizzo says:

    Regarding Tom’s comments about the wind at Connecticut’s park – I’ve never been to the park so I can’t comment on that, but the suggestion that Alderson benefitted from pitching there is simply false. Check out his home/road splits, it reallly isn’t all that close (sample size of course must be considered)

    Location ERA WHIP H/9 HR/9
    Home 4.06 1.45 11.3 .58
    Road 3.02 1.08 8.0 .65

    Alderson may or may not be a stud, but I’d sure be leery of trading him for a 31 year old 2B who may or may not get me to the post-season

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  26. Doug Melvin says:

    Corey Hart for Bumgarner, Woo Woo!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Nathan says:

    Forget about how good we think Alderson is or is not; look at what Freddy Sanchez adds to the Giants: very little. In 382 PA over 86 games, Sanchez has been worth +2.2 WAR. He will essentially be taking over 2B from Juan Uribe, who in 222 PA over 72 games has been worth +1.1 WAR.

    Using the WAR so far this season (I’m just using games played to prorate, not PA), Uribe would be worth +.93 WAR over the Giants’ remaining 61 games. Similarly, Sanchez will be worth +1.56 WAR over those remaining 61 games. Essentially, the Giants just traded a top 50 prospect (give or take some value depending on whom you talk to) in order to gain .63 wins the rest of the season. Those extra .63 wins won’t get them a playoff spot. My point, of course, is that this is just a remarkably stupid deal no matter how you look at it.

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    • PaulThomas says:

      That works great, assuming that you’re some sort of insane solipsist who believes that the world came into being fully formed on April 5, 2009, and “previous years” are some kind of devilish plot to deceive you about the True Faith.

      If not, you would realize that the difference between Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez is considerably more than that. Juan Uribe really sucks.

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      • B says:

        “If not, you would realize that the difference between Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez is considerably more than that. Juan Uribe really sucks.”

        Well, you could also argue Freddy Sanchez kind of sucks. He put up .4 WAR in a full season last year, and he’s 31. What Nathan didn’t include was the fact that we have Sanchez for one more year at $8M, so that will have some effect on his value.

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      • Fonda says:

        Barry Zito won a Cy Young in a “previous year”. Big deal. The further removed you are from the past the less of a weight it should receive. This is precisely the reason why Giants fans don’t care about Juan Uribe’s totals from 2004-2007 or the fact that he has won a World Series.

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      • R M says:

        B, can I have some of those cherries you just picked?

        Sanchez is a consistent 3-4 win player, with 2008 clearly being the outlier.

        Uribe has been worth more than 2 WAR once in his career (2004), and before this season, better than .9 WAR only twice.

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      • Nathan says:

        Ok, so let’s look at previous years. Let’s arbitrarily pick the years ’06-’09, since those 3+ seasons have the greatest disparity between the values of Sanchez and Uribe and conveniently leave out Uribe’s +2.0 WAR 2005 and his +3.6 WAR 2004.

        Even using this ridiculously arbitrary period of time as your sample size for their values, Sanchez should be worth +1.29 WAR over the remaining 61 games, while Uribe would be worth +.28 WAR over those games. AT BEST, the Giants added one win to their team this year by making this move (and yes, I didn’t include Sanchez’ $8MM option for next year, which is a decent but not great value).

        Again, the point is that even using preposterous mathematical manipulation, the BEST CASE scenario for the Giants is +1 win, which will not vault them into a playoff spot any more than the +.63 wins I came up with in my original calculation.

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      • B says:

        R M, if Sanchez was in his prime, I’d probably be more inclined to agree with you that it was one fluky year. However, as a 31 year old, it could easily be interpretted as a sign he’s slowing down. Which one is right? I don’t know, but I think there at least has to be some concern that he’s not able to produce the numbers he did when he was 28-29 anymore.

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    • Bhaakon says:

      A good point, if you believe in Uribe’s ability to continue a run uncharacteristic of his established level of production.

      I’d also point out that Renteria has had both a putrid season and recently founf out that he’ll be needing offseason surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. It’s entirely likely that this trade off ends up being Renteria for Sanchez with Uribe sliding back to shortstop. Uribe’s defensive numbers at SS have been putird this season, but in a very small sample size, I don’t think he’s much worse than Renteria defensively (particularly since, subjectively, Renteria’s defense as has slipped since his arm became an issue).

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  28. Matt says:

    The Giants dealt their #2 AND #3 pitching prospects?

    So you’re saying that Pucetas and Sosa aren’t considered by anyone to have as much upside as the two that were dealt?

    I have a hard time with that.

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    • B says:

      Sosa probably has to do with injury issues (though he’s fairly comparable to Barnes), Pucetas isn’t much of a prospect. The only thing Pucetas really has going for him over any of those guys is he’s at a higher level.

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  29. andrew says:

    Scouts can be wrong, as many of them were wrong about Lincecum.

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  30. rwperu34 says:

    I have offically banned Fangraphs.

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  31. Paul says:

    It’d be nice to see Alderson do something, anything, at the big league level for having a gross overreaction like this. As with ALL deals that involve prospects, it can’t be judged for 3-4 years.

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    • B says:

      I disagree with this completely. I think making judgements in the future is a bad way of looking at things. This deal was made with only the information we have in the present, so you have to judge it on what information we have now. That’s why I like the method I used earlier, where it takes into account the probability of prospects succeeding and the value you get when they do to give you an expected value for a prospect, and that’s essentially their trade value.

      Basically, over a large enough sample, it’s the process that determines success, not whether you get lucky or unlucky once or twice. We’re evaluating the process, and it’s clear Brian Sabean has not improved as a GM and is still in the dark ages.

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      • nbgiant25 says:

        B:

        You say that you disagree with making judgments in the future, yet your entire strategy is to base your judgment on what a prospect might do…. in the future.

        I agree, let’s take this based on the information we have now. The Giants received a defensively solid .300 hitter at a position that has been a black hole for 2 years. The Pirates received hope for the future. Based on the information we have right now, I say the Giants are the winners of this deal… right now.

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      • Wally says:

        nbgiant, judging a player on what his value is right now, based on the success rate of players like him, is a very different thing than making a future judgement of the deal based on the out comes of the prospects. What happens to Alderson from this point out should be irrelevent. What we want to know is if this move was good or bad given the information we have right now? To just throw up your hands and say “we won’t know for 3-4 years who is the winner or the loser” is lazy. You need a method to be able to make a good trade NOW. You don’t have any of that player specific future information now.

        Say, for example, you trade Pujols for Jack Cust straight up, and a week later Pujols slips in the shower cracks his head open and dies. While Cust goes on to have 3 more or less average seasons for the Cards. Was that a good trade for the Cards? Sure, they ended up coming out ahead, but at the moment of the trade Pujols had much much much MUCH more value than Cust. So, even if they wanted to trade Pujols they should have been able to get say Cust and Anderson and Sweeney and just about anything they wanted.

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      • nbgiant25 says:

        You just made my point for me. Based on the information we have NOW, the Giants came out ahead in this trade.

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      • B says:

        nbgiant, again, you’re just ignoring all the information I’ve presented on trade values (which take historical success rates into account). The exercise tries to establish a fair market price for the different pieces, and the winner is the one that gets the better of the other relative to the fair market price. Based on historical success rates of prospects like Alderson (if you believe Alderson is a Top 50 type prospect), the expected value of Alderson (that is, the average value you expect to get) is greater than Sanchez. If you want to argue Alderson is more of a Grade B prospect, you can make a case Sabean paid a fair market rate. Otherwise he greatly overpaid, making it a bad trade (and also implying he could have gotten a better player for Alderson).

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      • Wally says:

        nbgiant, if you think that makes your point, you have some serious problems with reasoning and logic. The information we have now shows us that Alderson has a very good chance at becoming a decent-good MLB pitcher who is under club control (that’s a VERY valuable thing), while Sanchez is an average player, payed like an average player (though actually over paid compared to market because average 2nd baseman don’t get their fair share) and he’s only locked in for one more year. Its a simple concept and its been explained to you many times, and you don’t get it. Some people just have their limits, and you’ve reached yours apparently.

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  32. Piglegs Robinson says:

    Tim McCarver, on July 4th 1976, our bicentennial celebration, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, hit a grand slam but got so excited that he passed up the runner on first base and was called out. I believe he got 3 RBI though. So yeah, it is certainly possible to have 6 homeruns and 5 RBI.
    Funny thing though, with all the hoopla and festivities surrounding that whole bicentennial deal in ’76, This is the one thing I remember most about it all.
    I bet it’s McCarver’s biggest memory too.

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    • Joe R says:

      McCarver, doing something stupid?

      /commence sarcasm
      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
      /end sarcasm

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    • MinorLeaguer says:

      But in that case McCarver was only credited with a single, he didn’t get credit for the HR. That’s similar to the “home run” that Joe Adcock hit with two men on to end Harvey Haddix’ perfect game in 1959. Adcock, in all the confusion, passed Hank Aaron on the basepaths. He only got credit for a single and the official score of the game was 1-0.

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      • LeiterMilnerFasterStronger says:

        Robin Ventura ended Game 5 against the Braves in the 1999 NLCS with a “grand slam single” after passing first base runner Todd Pratt on the basepaths– 1 RBI, batter credited with a single.

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  33. John says:

    Pigs, that example means that it could have less than 5 runs, not RBI’s since it would require a runner on base to pull that off. The other runner would score though and thus gain him an RBI. Same as walkoff HR’s and junk.

    For Alderson, he was a 1st round pick and has performed well (at least statistically) since being in the minor leagues. Not a perfect indicator of MLB success but you don’t really get drafted in the first round if you don’t have at least above average stuff. Who knows if he’ll make it or not, but you would have to believe his value as a trade chip around the league is much higher than freddy sanchez.

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  34. Joe R says:

    Wonder how the Pirates will look once their 2008-2009 liquidation project all hits the majors.

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    • BillG says:

      No, this is completely wrong. While the final outcome of the deal cannot be judged for 3-4 years, we can and should judge the reasoning that was used to make the deal now. We know the burnout rate of pitchers at Alderson’s level of development. We can project the rate of decline in Sanchez’s skills. We can project how much money Sanchez and Alderson will be paid. Buying a lottery ticket is a bad decision. If by some miracle you win, it was still a bad decision. You just got lucky and over large enough sample, luck always evens out. Alderson may never be a good major leaguer. Odds are he will be, but even if he isn’t, this was still a good decision.

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  36. wobatus says:

    No one else seems to be mentioning this. Alderson struck out 7.45 batters per 9 in his first 8 double A starts (10 in his first start).

    In his last 5 he has struck out 2.89 per 9.

    His overall minor league rate is 7.3/9.

    Something may be wrong physically. Could be minor, dead arm, who knows? Maybe the league figured him out, but I doubt it.

    Sabean may think that’s as good as it gets.

    Personally, I think that’s a tiny strech of 5 starts on which to judge a 20 year old in AA. This also jibes with some reports of his velocity being down.

    I am not opining on the trade. All depends on your agenda and goals and timeframes. I am just saying Alderson isn’t chopped liver just because he doesn’t sit low 90s or stries out less than 6 per 9 in AA at 20.

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  37. Edwin Nelson says:

    Whether the deal pans out in the long run is an unknown. The point is what Alderson is worth on the open market, and whether Freddy Sanchez is equal to that, and the answer is no. What if Alderson and something else brings you Aaron Hill? What if Alderson brings you Martin Prado? The issue is looking at what is available and saying “Yes, that’s the guy.”

    I mean is Sanchez better then Orlando Hudson? Why didn’t you sign him in the offseason? Is he better then Felipe Lopez? What the did the Brewers give up for him? This is a crazy bad trade of the Giants.

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  38. tom says:

    Keith Law pretty much reiterated what I said above in his espn chat today. I find it odd that people can have such strong opinions on Alderson without having seen him pitch.

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  39. Billy says:

    I know people keep saying he is the #2 prospect in the system, but really he was never going to be anything better then the Giants #4 starter some years down the road. So giving up a *potential* back end starter for a significant upgrade at second base is not a bad deal. As much as I hate Brian Sabean I think this was an okay move, not a win-win move, but a good parts for parts move.

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    • B says:

      Well it all depends on how highly regarded a prospect Alderson is. Even if you don’t like his chances personally, if the market sees him as a Top 50 guy, you should trade him for the value Top 50 guys get. If you trade him for less, you are doing a poor job. It could be the market was much more sour on Alderson than a lot of us think and we’re offbase, but I haven’t seen any decent counter argument to the fact that Alderson’s trade value should have netted more than Sanchez.

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      • tom says:

        http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/27635/mlb-insider-keith-law

        “Keith, what are your thoughts on Alderson? I saw that his velocity is down this year. Do you think he is injured or just destined to be a #5 type starter?
        Keith Law (1:07 PM)

        I don’t think he’s injured, but he’s not a real physical kid (yet, plenty of room to fill out) and his delivery has effort. He’s gone backwards, that’s absolutely a concern. One scout I talked to who saw him in July said he wrote him up as a 5th starter.”

        Did Sabean know something about Alderson that the rest of us don’t know?
        Keith Law (1:12 PM)

        I’m guessing his player development people were telling him Alderson’s fastball and curve had both gone backwards this year. If I didn’t have history with Alderson in HS, I would probably have talked about this as too little for Pittsburgh, based solely on what Alderson is now. I’ve seen him much better than this, and I do like the feel for pitching, so I’m still giving him extra credit.

        there’s more. I don’t think he was viewed very highly by GMs or Scouts.

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      • Dustin says:

        tom you beat me to it

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      • Wally says:

        Keith also went on to say Alderson is maybe in the back end of a top 100. Without looking at the math, I’d still say he was worth more than Sanchez, if we assume Keith is right.

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    • Bigmouth says:

      My quick and dirty math tells me we still lose even if Alderson really is at back end of the top 100. Prospects with a 76-100 ranking are worth $9.6 million. Sanchez translates into around 3.4 more wins over the next 1.5 years, which is worth about $15.3 million. I’m not sure how much of his $6 million we will pay this year, but let’s say it’s around $2 million, plus the club option of $8 million next year. So Sanchez’s total value over the next year and a half will be $5.3 million, which is still less than the $9.6 million that a pitcher ranked 76-100 is worth.

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      • B says:

        Also, a couple points to consider. First, what kind of value would we be getting without Sanchez? So far this year we’ve been getting less than replacement value at 2B, so in terms of the value he gives the Giants, it may be more than just his WAR. That said, when evaluating a trade, WAR should set the market value, so you’d expect Sabean to get market value for Alderson. It may be that Sabean walked into a store, saw a shiny Freddy Sanchez listed at $6M, and decided to pay $9.6M because that’s how much he was worth to Sabean…

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      • Bigmouth says:

        Points well taken, B, though Uribe has been 1.1 WAR this year.

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      • Wally says:

        The other thing we’re missing is that 2nd basemen aren’t payed their fair share, and you can often get 2nd basemen roughly as good as Sanchez for far less than their WAR would say they are worth. For example O. Hundson signed for just $3M base salary and is typically in the 2-3 WAR range. Brain Roberts, who’s better than Sanchez typically (usually 4+ WAR) and a FA at the end of the year (could have just payed for this guy if you waited two month and kept Alderson), makes $8 million. Ellis, who’s about as good as Sanchez, makes $5M. So while Sanchez’s WAR makes him out to be roughly worth his contract, when compared to the market, he’s actually slightly over-payed. And for going on 32, that could look a lot worse in 2010.

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  40. Edwin Nelson says:

    That’s really not the point. Whether Alderson does end up being that good, or whether he ever pitched in SF isn’t the issue. The issue is Alderson’s perceived value on the market, and whether equal value was achieved. Considering Alderson’s value within the baseball community, and Sanchez’s value compared to it, the answer is no.

    It’s like Matt LaPorta in Milwaukee. Did the Brewer’s ever intend to put him in the field? Probably not. He was a commodity to use to get what they needed. If SF doesn’t think Alderson is good enough to work into the rotation fine, but you have to get maximum value for the commodity, or it’s a bad deal.

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  41. wobatus says:

    Tom, what Law says suggests that if a 20 year old takes a step back in AA 9and really, June and July is when his results started going sour), that means that’s it for him? No even going back to where he was, much less improving. That just sounds odd to me. Just look at the monthly results. he was K’ing more more than a batter an inning in May. After that the falloff is significant and worsened in July.

    Even if not hurt, that doesn’t say something is at issue? Velocity down, Ks down, all of a sudden, out of line with over a year’s worth of performance?

    I understand he was never a power guy, and I am not even focused on Sanchez’s value. Just the idea that based on a very small sample sub-set, Alderson is now 5th starter at best.

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  42. Josh S, NY says:

    I’m very disappointed about this trade as a Giants fan. As others have stated, I feel like the Giants should have been able to get more for Alderson. I don’t necessarily have a problem with dealing Alderson so much as I have a problem with the return, just Freddy Sanchez, and all of his contract. If the Giants had been able to include a C level prospect or two and work Snell in as well, that would have been fine. I just don’t see this as a win for the Giants, and the fact is, I think Sabean is trying to get himself a contract extension by making the playoffs, and I think this is a very short sighted move.

    At this point, now that the Giants have dealt both Alderson and Barnes for Sanchez and Garko I think it’s a must that they make one more move to acquire someone like say Josh Willingham. I don’t think Sabean and the Giants can go half way on winning now. Coming into the trade deadline I’d have been happier seeing them deal C and perhaps B level prospects for something like Adam Kennedy, Scott Hairston, etc. but that is simply not an option now. Hopefully the Giants now shop Pucetas, Valdez, perhaps the disappointing Wendell Fairley (who is starting to hit over his last 10).

    It is important they don’t deal Bumgarner, Villalona, Posey, Rodriguez, but at this point isn’t it a must that they deal some C level prospects for more help, or no?

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  43. John says:

    Another way to look at this negatively from the Giants POV is if Alderson was as undesirable on the market as the “good trade for the giant crowd” indicate, then at the very least you sold low on Alderson. I still think he had more value than getting Sanchez, but at the very least you would want to hold onto him and hope he gets his velo back next season and reestablishes some of his prospect status around the league. Any negative comments about the guy are based off this year and/or his last handful of starts. If you are going to trade a guy based off his worst performance in his career, that’s selling pretty low on a guy.

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  44. Billy says:

    As I mentioned above, I think this was a good trade. However, they did sell low on Alderson. But also, we do not know who else they tried to pick up via a trade including Alderson. Maybe Freddy Sanchez was the best Sabean could get for Alderson, we may never know. I do think it is funny that the Giants fan base has been DYING for Sabean to make a move to upgrade their hitting, and when he does he gets lambasted. You have to give a little to get a little. And for those who think that Sanchez is no upgrade over Juan Uribe, remember about a little thing called regression and another fun little thing called aging curve. Uribe has been playing over his head lately and while that has helped the Giants get to where they are now, his regression is bound to happen during the stretch run of the season. If nothing else, Sanchez has been a very consistent hitter and fielding his entire career.

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    • B says:

      One of my problems with the trade is instead of a marginal upgrade at 1st + Freddy Sanchez, I would have rather seen Sabean package Alderson + Barnes. Victor Martinez maybe? Not sure who would be available, and maybe it’s an unrealistic idea, but this is a classic Sabean move, getting older, not that good veterans. I’d rather go after one big fish.

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      • Billy says:

        I can only assume that since he got Garko from Cleveland, he at least inquired about Victor Martinez. The price for Martinez was probably either too steep, or Cleveland was not willing to sell on him yet.

        Again I am anything but a Sabean fan or apologist, but finding a top notch hitter in this years market is tough. So many teams are still contending and the GM’s are smarter about moving their players that it made it tough to make an impact move.

        They could have always moved “all in” and went after Roy Halladay.

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      • Bhaakon says:

        Is victor Martinez really that top notch of a hitter anymore? He’s better than Garko, but pretty pedestrian for a 1B tha last season and a half. Unless he was playing C (which I don’t know he can do competently anymore, and I’m sure the GIants wouldn’t bench Molina anyway), I’d rather have Garko and Sanchez.

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  45. Billy says:

    I think Victor is a better hitter than Garko, but you are right, I would also take Sanchez and Garko over just Victor. I was implying the possibility of obtaining Sanchez and Martinez.

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  46. Paul says:

    Wally says: “Say, for example, you trade Pujols for Jack Cust straight up, and a week later Pujols slips in the shower cracks his head open and dies. While Cust goes on to have 3 more or less average seasons for the Cards. Was that a good trade for the Cards? Sure, they ended up coming out ahead, but at the moment of the trade Pujols had much much much MUCH more value than Cust. So, even if they wanted to trade Pujols they should have been able to get say Cust and Anderson and Sweeney and just about anything they wanted.”

    Worst. Example. EVER! I really hope you didn’t use this as an example on par with someone trading a prospect for a proven player.

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    • Wally says:

      Boy, some people are just stupid. I wasn’t using it “as an example on par with someone trading a prospect for a proven player.” I was using that example to illistrate the point that the end result does not justify the trade. God you’re dumb.

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  47. Paul says:

    Wally says: “Keith also went on to say Alderson is maybe in the back end of a top 100. Without looking at the math, I’d still say he was worth more than Sanchez, if we assume Keith is right.”

    If he’s in the back end of the top 100, why would he draw more than a 3-time All-Star career .300 hitter with a legit glove? I think the bigger problem, aside from the MASSIVE overrating of Alderson, is the underrating of Sanchez.

    And let’s not pretend like last year was a harbinger of his demise, it was essentially a bad half during which he may have been pretty banged up. After the break he hit .346.

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  48. Paul says:

    B says, “One of my problems with the trade is instead of a marginal upgrade at 1st + Freddy Sanchez, I would have rather seen Sabean package Alderson + Barnes. Victor Martinez maybe? Not sure who would be available, and maybe it’s an unrealistic idea, but this is a classic Sabean move, getting older, not that good veterans. I’d rather go after one big fish.”

    Is Victor Martinez a big fish as a 1B? He’s on pace for .284-24-108, which is hardly bad. It’s great at catcher, but just OK at 1B. How is he *that* much better than Garko? I’d argue that spending both of those prospects for JUST Martinez is markedly worse than splitting them to fill two holes.

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  49. DC says:

    I remember seeing some piece from THT about the value of prospects. I think 26-50 pitchers were worth like 12 mil and 51-100 were worth about 9 mil.

    Freddy Sanchez will cost about 10 million for the remainder of this year and next year. So for the Giants to come out ahead on the trade at this moment, Sanchez will need to be at least about a 5 WAR player from now until the end of 2010. For a player who’s typically in the 3-4 range per season, we’re probably looking at 5-6 WAR. Another thing to consider, is who says Freddy Sanchez won’t be a Type A Free Agent? If he is, and the Giants get a 2nd rounder and supp. pick in the worst case scenario, the Pirates better hope Alderson turns into a #2 SP to come out ahead on this deal.

    Sure there a couple “what ifs,” but if Sanchez produces like expected (avoiding injury or some drastic decline), there is nothing wrong with this deal.

    And another thing. The failure rate of pitching prospects is pretty damn high. I’ll take my chances with a huge upgrade at 2B for the Giants. Good trade for both teams.

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    • Wally says:

      DC, costing 10 million and being worth 9 million are two different things though. For Sanchez to simple live up to his pay, he needs to produce like he did roughly in 2005 and 2007. To really be worth an extra 9 million (above his salary) he needs to roughly repeat his best season ever. Last season he posted just .4 WAR, he’s about to turn 32, and historically 2nd baseman age faster than everyone besides catchers. So, I think its pretty easy to see Sanchez isn’t likely to be worth 9 million to the Giants.

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      • DC says:

        Sure, yet he’s on pace for another 4 WAR season. His .4 WAR year last year was the result of injury, and that’s definitely a reason for concern. But he might he having his best season right now, so I don’t see a big issue there.

        And also, Alderson’s stock has fallen way off and it seems like his potential is a #5 SP at this point, not really top 100 prospect material. So his value might even be less than 9 million.

        And if he’s Type A or even Type B and the Giants get compensation, it’s a win.

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      • Wally says:

        Sure, he might be having his best season now, but he’d have to pick up the pace a little to make that happen, and odds are he actually slows down. His projected ROS wOBA is lower than his season wOBA, and his UZR/150 is above his career average. Its more likely he falls off the rest of the way than anything else. Then next year that should just get even worse as he ages away from his peak.

        Then how do we keep dropping Alderson’s value? First it was he’s Top 50, then he’s bottom 100, now you’re saying he’s not even Top 100? Why is that? Sure his value MIGHT be less than 9 million but it MIGHT also be more than that. The point is the 9 million is the most likely scenario, if we take some of the experts word for his placement. That being he was a Top 50 guy but his stock has fallen to the 75-100 range.

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      • DC says:

        Scouts have been saying he’s not a #5 SP at best right now, so that’s not something exactly worth being a top 100 prospect.

        Anyways, let’s say Sanchez does decline. Worst case we’re looking at 1 WAR in 2009, and probably 2-3 WAR in 2010. So he’ll be worth a net value of about 6 million. If he’s a Type B, about 8.5 million, and 11 million if he’s a Type A.

        This is a very even trade, people are completely overreacting.

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      • Wally says:

        Well, a lot of scouts say a lot of things. And that’s a pretty fast decline for guy that’s 20 in AA. I’d rather take a guy like Keith Law’s word on bottom end of Top 100 than just some unnamed scout that you read about somewhere.

        “Anyways, let’s say Sanchez does decline. Worst case we’re looking at 1 WAR in 2009, and probably 2-3 WAR in 2010. So he’ll be worth a net value of about 6 million. If he’s a Type B, about 8.5 million, and 11 million if he’s a Type A.”

        But the thing is he’s getting payed more than he would be worth in this situation. That means he (meaning his production and his contract) isn’t actually WORTH 6 million to Giants, its actually costing the Giants about 4 million. This is something people continually fail to understand. You have to take his on-field value and contract into consideration.

        My feeling is his production probably going to be a rough draw to his pay (as fangraphs would calculate it). However, the market underpays second basemen. So, the Giants could have gone out and got something similar to Sanchez (or even Sanchez himself if the Pirates don’t pick up the option), for less if they just waited 2 months. Then it seems to me Alderson’s value is correctly interpreted to be in the Top 75-100 range and thus worth $9M. Thus, this was a poor deal for the Giants, it may not be as horrible as some are making it out to be, but I do think it was still a bad deal.

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      • DC says:

        Um, what?

        “But the thing is he’s getting payed more than he would be worth in this situation. That means he (meaning his production and his contract) isn’t actually WORTH 6 million to Giants, its actually costing the Giants about 4 million. This is something people continually fail to understand. You have to take his on-field value and contract into consideration.”

        He’s getting paid 11 million, and he’ll likely be at least a 4 WAR layer, making him a net +5/6 mil guy.

        People may fail to understand this, but I do not. And I won’t be surprised if he’s a 5 WAR guy (or 3 for that matter), making him possibly almost a +10 million guy, worth more than Alderson is valued at this moment.

        And of course if he’s a Type A, then the Giants easily win this deal at this moment.

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      • Wally says:

        You’ll have to excuse the mistake. When you say he’s worth 1 WAR this season and 2-3 next, that only puts the top end of your range at +6M. Not exactly an honest repressentation is it? Lets clear this up a little:

        “And I won’t be surprised if he’s a 5 WAR guy (or 3 for that matter), making him possibly almost a +10 million guy, worth more than Alderson is valued at this moment.”

        So, best case scenerio he’s worth about 1M more than Alderson. Worst case he’s worth about 10M less (3 WAR puts him at about -1M relative to his contract: 9- (-1)=10). The over under has Sanchez at about 3-4M less than Alderson. So, that’s a good deal?

        Like, I’ve said, this isn’t a horrible deal from the Giants perspective, but sure isn’t a good deal.

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  50. Greg says:

    Sabean is talking about these two trades as uses of the Giants’ young pitching depth. Is that a legitimate defense? Wouldn’t his mom say that he is “counting his chickens before they hatch”? I mean who actually ends up developing too many good young starters?

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  51. Darren says:

    I think the problem with this article is that, instead of making a reasonable argument against the trade, it exaggerates greatly in favor of the Pirates. There is little doubt that Sanchez will be worth $8 mil next year; there is no reason to compare Sanchez’s and Uribe’s 2009 lines when you could be comparing their projection; 20-year-old pitchers whose strengths are control and command are not usually top prospects (and 20-year-old pitchers are big injury risks). These are all points you should have considered and rebutted if you wanted to make a fair argument against this trade for the Giants.

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  53. Adam says:

    Good gravy – hindsight is awesome.

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  54. gonfalon says:

    Another postscript — after getting demoted from AA to A+ last year (with no improvement to his stats thereafter), Tim Alderson will begin 2011 in AA Altoona’s bullpen.

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  55. Anthony says:

    Just goes to show how you can’t put much stock at all into pitching prospects. Unless you’re getting 3 top flight guys, you aren’t getting much of anything.

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  56. Freddy Fan #1 says:

    Freddy is my favorite infielder and has a great bat and an even batter glove. He did great in the 2010 World Series… and he is still DA BEST

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  62. tynandaly says:

    Tim Alderson has faded into nothing, while Freddy Sanchez helped the Giants win the World Series.

    Wow.

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